Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Widyono in doubt

Widyono in doubt

Widyono in doubt

THE United Nations' most senior official in Cambodia, Benny Widyono, has been drawn

into the political infighting.

First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh wrote to the UN Secretary-General Kofi

Annan Apr 22 asking that a replacement for Widyono be appointed.

Co-Prime Minister Hun Sen had earlier asked that Widyono's mandate as special representative

of the UN Secretary-General be extended until the 1998 elections.

Describing Widyono as an "old hand" in Cambodia, Hun Sen wrote in an Apr

7 letter to Kofi Annan: "Any replacement of Mr Widyono at this juncture of Cambodia's

democratic progress may be regarded as an attempt to derail it."

Ranariddh, in his subsequent letter, said that Hun Sen's request for Widyono to stay

on in the UN role was made "without my knowledge".

"I very much welcome the nomination by the United Nations of a new Special Representative

in Cambodia at the expiration of ... Mr Benny Widyono's term of office," Ranariddh

wrote, with the word 'new' written in boldface.

Annan Apr 14 extended the office of his special representative to Cambodia by six

months, but has yet to confirm that Widyono would continue on as his representative.

Widyono did not want to comment to the Post, except to say that it was up to the

UN Secretary-General to make a decision.

The issue is likely to be considered by UN assistant Secretary General for political

affairs Alvaro de Soto, due to arrive in Phnom Penh on May 3. The UN envoy is expected

to meet separately with Ranariddh, Hun Sen, and Foreign Minister Ung Huot.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government denies claims former Thai PM Yingluck issued Cambodian passport

    Government officials on Thursday denied claims that a Cambodian passport was issued to former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who reportedly used it to register a company in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong-based English language South China Morning Post (SCMP) on Wednesday reported Hong Kong

  • Diplomatic passports issued to foreigners to be annulled

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will move to annul diplomatic passports issued to those not born in Cambodia. Analysts say the move may be in relation to reports that former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra used a Cambodian passport to register as

  • Hun Sen warns Irish MP of EBA ‘mistake’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday told former Irish premier Enda Kenny, still a member of the EU nation’s parliament, that the 28-nation bloc should not make a “third mistake” regarding Cambodia by using the preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement to “take 16 million

  • The hairy little heroes saving many lives in rural Cambodia

    IN RURAL Siem Reap province, rats dare to tread where no person will, as these hairy little heroes place their lives on the line each day for the good of the local community. The rodents are the most important members of a special team, leading